If you were arrested and accused of selling drugs, you likely know that you could potentially be in a lot of trouble. The penalties for a drug distribution conviction include fines and prison time. The harshness of these penalties depends in part on where you were when the alleged crime occurred.
Distribution in school zones
Distribution near schools, playgrounds and other places where children are likely to be present is treated more harshly under federal law than distribution elsewhere.
It is illegal to distribute drugs or intend to distribute drugs within one thousand feet of a public or private school, college, university or playground or within 100 feet of certain other places where children might be present such as youth centers, swimming pools or arcades.
It is not a defense that the accused did not know how close they were to a school or other location where children were likely to be present.
Penalties for distribution in places where children may be present
The punishment for distribution near schools and other enumerated locations where children are likely to be present is twice that of distribution in other locations.
For example, a first-time conviction for distribution of oxycodone could be punished by a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000.
However, if the distribution of oxycodone took place near a school or other enumerated area where children are likely to be present, these penalties would double to a 10-year prison sentence and a fine of $500,000.
So, where you are accused of distribution or other drug crimes matters. Distribution in areas where children are likely to be present is treated more severely than distribution elsewhere.